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Top-Ranked Irish Women's Soccer In Middle Of Eight Straight Big East Games

Oct. 5, 2000

BACK ON THE ROAD: The top-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team (11-0-0) is in the midst of playing eight straight BIG EAST games, with six of the final seven regular-season games coming on the road … the Irish return to Mid-Atlantic Division action Friday afternoon at Georgetown (4:00 p.m.) before playing Sunday at Villanova (1:00 p.m.) … ND turned in a solid effort at home last weekend, with shutout victories over Seton Hall (6-00 and Rutgers (2-0) … the Irish are two wins shy of equaling the best start in team history (13-0-0, in ’96) … the Rutgers game marked the 13th time in ND history-and sixth time in the last six seasons-that the Irish have allowed no shots … ND’s only remaining games versus teams currently in the NSCAA top 25 are Oct. 13 at home versus Boston College (7:30 p.m.) and Oct. 21 at Connecticut (1:00 p.m.).

Notre Dame Women's Soccer Schedule (listings indicate local starting times)Fri., Oct. 6        at Georgetown (4:00 p.m.)Sun., Oct. 8        at Villanova (1:00 p.m.)

FIRST THINGS FIRST: Notre Dame has locked up a spot in the eight-team BIG EAST Tournament, thanks to its 4-0-0 record in Mid-Atlantic Division play (with the two divisional games remaining, to be played this weekend) … the Irish also have clinched home field for the Oct. 28-29 BIG EAST quarterfinal round (the semifinals and final also will be at ND’s Alumni Field, on Nov. 3 and 5) … ND would clinch the division title with a win Friday at Georgetown.

SHUTOUT STREAK: Notre Dame’s current team goals-against average (0.36) is on pace to equal the team record set in ’97, when the Irish allowed just five goals in the regular season and nine overall … senior G Liz Wagner (Spring, Texas) and the Irish defenders have allowed just one goal (on a penalty kick at West Virginia) in the last 588 minutes of action, stretching back to Stanford’s goal in the 80th minute on Sept. 10 … Wagner and the Irish allowed just one goal in each game of the KeyBank Classic, versus two of the nation’s top teams (Santa Clara, Stanford), before posting a pair of shutouts in the Portland adidas Invitational (vs. #15 Washington and current #14 Portland), the 2-1 win at WVU and three straight shutouts versus Pittsburgh (1-0), Seton Hall (6-0) and Rutgers (2-0).

BIG EAST AWARDS KEEP COMING: The ND women’s soccer program picked up three more weekly BIG EAST Conference awards for the week of Sept. 24-Oct. 1, as senior M Anne Makinen (Helsinki, Finland) was named co-player of the week, sophomore Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) was named defensive player of the week, and freshman M Randi Scheller (Kutztown, Pa.) was named rookie of the week … ND has racked up nine BIG EAST awards this season, including five straight defensive awards (three by senior Kelly Lindsey and one by her classmate Kerri Bakker) and a pair of back-to-back rookie honors for F Amy Warner … Makinen has scored ND’s first goal (and game-winning goal) in each of the last three games … she scored from the top of the box to ignite a four-goal first half in the 6-0 win over Seton Hall on Oct. 29 and, two days later, converted a PK to spark a two-goal flurry in the second half vs. Rutgers (a 2-0 win) … Pruzinsky was a stalwart at left back for and Irish defense that pushed its season shutout total to seven … she played a key role in allowing just two shots during the weekend (one on goal), including just one shot in the final 176 minutes of the weekend (ND also allowed just one corner kick from both SHU and RU) … Pruzinsky also provided a pass down the left flank to set up Amanda Guertin’s goal that pushed the Irish ahead of Rutgers, 2-0 (for her first point of the season) … Scheller combined with Makinen to help the Irish dominate the midfield battle during the weekend, as the Irish owned a 66-2 shot edge (34-1 in shots on goal) and a 16-2 edge on CKs … she combined with senior F Meotis Erikson while recording a goal and assist to help break open the SHU game before providing the primary assist on Guertin’s goal versus Rutgers.

INJURY REPORT: ND freshman F Amy Warner (Albuquerque, N.M.) is out indefinitely with a leg injury suffered in the Sept. 29 game vs. Seton Hall (she did not play on Oct. 1 vs. Rutgers) … Warner has established herself as one of the nation’s more electrifying rookies, using her speed down the wings and assortment of moves to rank as Notre Dame’s second-leading scorer (with seven goals, four assists, two game-winning goals and three first-goals) … she earned consecutive BIG EAST rookie-of-the-week honors on Sept. 4 and 11th, with her season highlights including a hat trick versus Providence, 1G-1A in the 6-1 win over then-No. 2 Santa Clara and a goal and the cross that led to the game-ending own goal versus Stanford (2-1, OT) … Warner’s absence likely moves sophomore F Ali Lovelace into the starting lineup (alongside senior Meotis Erikson and freshman Amanda Guertin) while junior Kelly Tulisiak (4G on 11 shots this season) and versatile senior Monica Gonzalez (who has made seven starts in the defense this season) will be the top reserves at forward.

PLAYING WITH THE LEAD: Notre Dame has yet to trail this season while holding the lead for nearly 70 percent of the minutes played … just three teams have managed to forge a tie versus the Irish this season: Providence, Stanford and West Virginia.

BIG-GAME PERFORMER: Despite facing just 27 shots on goal all season, senior goalkeeper Liz Wagner has made several big plays versus ranked opponents … in the 6-1 win over then-No. 2 Santa Clara, Wagner made seven big saves, including an early breakaway and a diving stop in the second half … she finished the KeyBank Classic weekend with 10 saves, as the backstop to an Irish defense that allowed just 16 shots … Wagner then made six saves at the Portland Invitational but turned in several other big plays in both games (she thwarted two early scoring chances by Washington before holding off Portland’s late charge) … Wagner is in the midst of her first season as a starter while facing the challenge of replacing All-American Lakeysia Beene and losing two starting defenders from ’99 team (including four-time All-American Jen Grubb).

MAKINEN REACHES 60 BEFORE 50-50: Notre Dame senior midfielder Anne Makinen (Helsinki, Finland) scored last week versus Seton Hall and Rutgers, giving her 60 career goals to move past ’96 graduate Michelle McCarthy (59) into 5th on the ND all-time list (just one behind ’97 grad. Cindy Daws) … Makinen has been stuck on 49 career assists since Sept. 17, leaving her one assist shy of becoming the 13th player in Division I history-and the third ND player-to eclipse the 50-goals-50-assists plateau (she entered the 2000 season as the nation’s only active 40-40 player) … Jenny Streiffer (70G-71A, ’96-’99) and Daws (61G-67A) are the only previous ND players to reach the 50-50 milestone … Makinen also has a good shot at reaching 60-60 in her career, needing 11A to become the sixth Division I player to earn that distinction … current members of the 60-60 club include Streiffer, Daws, Carin Jennings (102G-60A, UC Santa Barbara, ’83-’86), Mia Hamm (103G-72A, North Carolina, ’89-’93) and Mandy Clemens (67G-65A, Santa Clara, ’96-’99) … 10 more goals and 21 more assists would place Makinen alongside Streiffer and Hamm in the very exclusive 70-70 club.

ANNE’S ARSENAL: Anne Makinen reached 10 points in three games this season and 20 (6G-8A) through seven games, despite being marked heavily as ND’s top returning offensive weapon (she now has 26 points, 9G-8A, in 11 games) .. Makinen’s quick start factors out to 62 points over the course of 26 games, with just three previous ND players topping 60 points in a season (’96 saw Cindy Daws record 72 and Jenny Streiffer 66 while Jenny Heft had 61 in ’98) … Makinen heads into this week’s action with a career average of 2.20 points/gm (169 points in 77 games) … Makinen’s 49 career assists recently moved her past former teammates Monica Gerardo (’95-’98) and Kara Brown (’96-’99) into 6th on the ND career assists list (Gerardo and Brown each had 44) … Makinen’s 169 career points are 6th in ND history, as she recently passed ’96 grad. Michelle McCarthy (156) and trails ’98 grad. Holly Manthei by seven points … Makinen needs to total 48 points this season to pass Gerardo into 2nd on the ND all-time scoring list (Makinen would need a 69-point season to surpass ND’s all-time leading scorer, Streiffer).

MAKIN’ WAVES: Anne Makinen-who has points in nine of 11 games this season-has been the focal point of the Irish offense this season, as the three-year All-American has scored or assisted on nearly half of ND’s goals (17 of 38), including five game-winning goals and three primary game-winning assists (her outlet pass also sprung Amy Warner for the cross that led to the game-ending own goal versus Stanford) … with her team struggling to cash in its chances vs. Tulsa on Sept. 1, Makinen took over in the lategoing by scoring a pair of goals for a 2-0 win … two days later, in the 5-1 win over Providence, her play from her central midfield spot helped the Irish eclipse 30 shots for the third straight game … her pass into the middle set up Amy Warner’s second goal of the PC game and Makinen added a long cross late in that game that Warner half-volleyed to complete her hat trick … Makinen had 1G-2A in the 6-1 win over No. 2 Santa Clara before setting up the game-ending sequence versus Stanford … at the Portland Invitational, Makinen’s long cross set up Ali Lovelace’s goal for a 2-0 lead on Washington and Makinen added a rebound goal and PK goal in that 5-0 game … the next day, her cross from the right set up Meotis Erikson’s goal in the 1-0 win over Portland … most recently, Makinen’s rocket shot from the top of the box held up as the only score in a 1-0 game with Pittsburgh before she opened the scoring to ignite the 6-0 win over Seton Hall and converted a second-half PK to give ND the lead in the 2-0 game with Rutgers.

ROAD STRETCH: Notre Dame is starting a stretch in which it will play six of its final seven regular-season games away from home, with the lone home game in that stretch being the Oct. 13 matchup with current 16th-ranked Boston College … despite the six road games in October, the Irish then potentially could spend most of the postseason playing at Alumni Field (the BIG EAST semifinals and final will be played at Notre Dame, on Nov. 3 and 5)-with as many as six straight postseason games in the home confines.

IRISH REMAIN NO. 1: Notre Dame has returned to the top of the national polls for the first time since 1996, following a pair of quality wins on Sept. 16-17 over Washington (5-0) and Portland (1-0) .coupled with North Carolina’s 2-1 loss earlier that week at upstart Clemson … North Carolina (now 11-1-0) dropped out of the top spot and currently is ranked fourth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) poll … the Irish are ranked first in the NSCAA poll and various other polls conducted by soccer-specific publications and websites, including the long-running poll compiled by the editors of Soccer America magazine, the coaches poll and the American Soccer Writers media poll (coordinated by

SCOUTING THE IRISH: Notre Dame returns 16 of 22 letterwinners but lost five starters from its ’99 team that went 21-4-1 and advanced to the NCAA title game … senior M and leading national player-of-the-year candidate Anne Makinen (9G-8A) has scored or assisted on nearly half of ND’s goals this season (17 of 38) while other top scorers include freshman forwards Amy Warner (7G-4A) and Amanda Guertin (5G-1A) and senior F Meotis Erikson (4G-3A) … junior Elizabeth Wagner has played most of the minutes in the nets, with 19 saves and four goals allowed (one on a PK).

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Information on Georgetown can be found at while Wildcats information is located at

BIG GAPS: Notre Dame continues to add to its dominating statistical edges, including: 38-4 in scoring, 312-51 in shots ( avg. 28-5), 181-26 in shots on goal (avg. 17-2) and 87-23 in corner kicks (avg. 8-2) …the Irish have held six teams to 0-2 shots and have allowed more than eight shots just twice (10 by Santa Clara, 11 by Portland) … ND has allowed 0-2 shots on goal in seven games (none in two) while SCU (7) is the only team to uncork more than four shots on goal vs. the Irish this season … 10 of the 11 ND opponents have been limited to 0-3 corner kicks (Portland had 7).

WALDRUM WORKING WONDERS: Second-year Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum has seen his Irish teams post an impressive 32-4-1 combined record (.878), including a solid 9-3-1 mark versus NSCAA top-25 teams and a 1999 season that ended in the NCAA Championship title game … Waldrum in ’99 became the only coach in the 18-year history of the NCAA women’s soccer championship to lead a team to the title game in his first season as that team’s head coach … he was the fourth first-year coach to take his team to the NCAA semi-finals, with the Irish beating top-ranked and previously unbeaten Santa Clara in their backyard of San Jose, Calif. … Waldrum’s 19-year record as a college head coach (with both men’s and women’s teams) is 215-109-20 (.654) … he owns a 139-54-13 (.706) record in 10-plus seasons as a Division I women’s coach, including 61-36-9 in six years at Tulsa (.580) and 46-14-3 in three seasons at Baylor … Waldrum ranks 15th among active women’s coaches for career winning percentage (he ranks 26th on the total wins list).

BREAKING THE SEAL: Three different Notre Dame players-senior M Anne Makinen, senior F Meotis Erikson and freshman F Amy Warner-each have scored the first goal of the game three-plus times this season … Makinen has opened the scoring in each of the last three games (vs. Pittsburgh, Seton Hall and Rutgers), after earlier scoring the first goal versus Detroit and Tulsa … Erikson scored first versus Santa Clara, Washington and Portland while Warner broke the ice in the games versus Providence, Stanford and West Virginia.

ANOTHER TYPE OF SHUTOUT: In Notre Dame’s season-opening 6-1 win over Detroit, the Titans nearly scored the game’s first goal during an early flurry but Notre Dame responded by holding the Titans without a shot for the game’s final 83 minutes … the final shot margin (49-2) ranks as one of the largest in Notre Dame women’s soccer history (the team record for shots in a game is 59) … the Irish then gave up an early shot (not on goal) by Pittsburgh before holding the Panthers without a shot in the final 76 minutes of that game … one week later, ND allowed Seton Hall just one shot (off goal) in the final 86 minutes of that game before holding Rutgers without a shot of any kind.

HOMESTANDERS: Notre Dame’s home record in 10-plus seasons at Alumni Field is 111-7-1 (.937), including an 87-3-1 mark in the last 91 games-highlighted by a 27-game winning streak from 1992-95 (the fifth-longest home winning streak in NCAA women’s soccer history) … ND’s last three home losses have been at the hands of fifth-ranked Connecticut in ’95 (5-4, OT), sixth-ranked Portland in the ’98 NCAA quarterfinals (2-1) and top-rated North Carolina in the ’99 opener (3-2, OT) …the Irish currently carry a 15-game home winning streak … Notre Dame’s all-time record at Alumni Field versus teams not ranked in the NSCAA poll is 76-1-0 (35-6-1 vs. ranked teams), with 69 straight home wins over unranked teams dating back to a 1990 loss to Creighton (2-0) … Notre Dame played at Moose Krause Field in the program’s first two seasons (1988 and ’89) , with a home record of 19-5-1 during that span (all vs. unranked teams).

NO. 1 HISTORY: The previous year in which Notre Dame sat atop the NSCAA poll during the regular season was 1996, when the Irish owned the top spot for the final two months of the season (a 2-1 win over UNC on Oct. 4 of that year, followed by a 2-0 win over Duke, bumped the Irish up from the No. 2 spot) … Notre Dame also spent the final month of the 1994 season as the No. 1-ranked team, thanks to an earlier 0-0 tie with UNC and the Tar Heels’ loss to Duke in early October.

ND HEAD COACH RANDY WALDRUM ON BEING NO. 1: “To be ranked No. 1 is a tremendous honor for our team and the players deserve a lot of credit, because we’ve kind of snuck up on some people who thought-justifiably so-that we might be down a little after graduating five starters, three of whom were All-Americans. Along those lines, we truly are a team that still is developing its identity and we have some huge strides ahead of us. The team feels very honored to be No. 1 but they know that we still have a lot of work to do. At the same time, you can’t minimize what this group has accomplished. We beat four of the nation’s top teams in succession, including two of the nation’s premier programs in Santa Clara and Stanford, a win over Washington after a long roadtrip, and the victory over Portland in a tough atmosphere, with almost 4,000 fans that were very vocal and are right on top of you. So, it’s certainly a special moment for Notre Dame soccer … but we hope that there are many more to come this season.”

RISING TO THE TOP: Notre Dame is one of four undefeated and untied teams left in all of Division I women’s soccer (spanning 274 teams), with the others including second-ranked Clemson, No. 3 Nebraska and Brown … ND’s strength of schedule has improved since the start of the 2000 season, as Portland (17th), Washington (9th), BC (22nd) and Michigan (not currently ranked) each have entered the NSCAA poll in recent weeks … other 2000 Irish opponents currently ranked in the NSCAA poll include No. 13 Stanford, 11th-ranked Santa Clara ad No. 16 Connecticut).

BULLSEYE ON THEIR BACKS: The Irish own a 24-3-0 record (13-1-0 in the regular season) when playing as the top-ranked team in the NSCAA poll … ND’s losses as the No. 1 team have come at Santa Clara in the 1996 regular season (3-1) and in a pair of NCAA title games versus North Carolina (5-0 in 1994, 1-0 in ’96).

CALLING ALL FINISHERS!: One of Notre Dame’s primary tasks in 2000 is replacing the firepower lost in graduates Jenny Heft (80 career goals, 20 in ’99) and Jenny Streiffer (70, 19 in ’99)-with senior M Anne Makinen (60, 13 in ’99) and senior F Meotis Erikson (50, 14 in ’99) among the top candidates to boost their goalscoring … those players combined to score the first two goals in the win over Detroit and Makinen added both scores in the 2-0 win over Tulsa … they both also scored in the 6-1 win over Santa Clara while Erikson had both game-winners at the Portland Invitational while Makinen had two goals in the 5-1 win over Washington and the first Irish goals versus Pittsburgh (1-0), Seton Hall (6-0) and Rutgers (3-0) … Makinen has been urged by the coaching staff to become more selfish with her scoring opportunities and is looking to have a season similar to her freshman campaign, when she scored 23 goals (she had 15 in ’98 and 13 in ’99).

NO BIG DEAL: Notre Dame senior midfielder Anne Makinen-who had a goal and two assists in the recent 6-1 win over Santa Clara-was named offensive MVP of the KeyBank Classic, marking the fifth time in her career that she has been named a tournament MVP (including ND’s ’97 adidas/Lady Footlocker Classic, the ’98 KeyBank Classic and the ’97 and ’99 BIG EAST Championships).

SETON HALL RECAP (6-0, Sept. 29) – ND struck for two goals in an early 54-second span and added to its advantage while rolling up a 34-2 shot edge … six different players scored for ND … four Irish players registered 1G-1A including freshman F Amy Warner, senior F Meotis Erikson, freshman M Randi Scheller and junior F Kelly Tulisiak … senior M Caroline Marino capped the scoring with the first goal of her two-year Irish career … senior All-America M Anne Makinen opened the scoring with a dippig shot from the top of the box … less than a minute later, an outlet pass from Erikson sprung Warner for a breakaway score … ND allowed just one shot in the final 86 minutes … Erikson and Scheller took turns setting up each other’s goals for a 4-0 halftime cushion … Scheller worked a pass into the box in the 36th minute and Erikson quickly converted for the 3-0 lead … five minutes later, Erikson made a run in to the left side of the box and held the ball before sliding a pass to her left … Scheller ran onto the ball in perfect position and sent a crossing shot into the right side of the net … freshman D Megan Rogers picked up her first point of the season with a pass from the right side before sophomore F Ali Lovelace redirected the ball from the right endline … Tulisiak was in position from close range and drilled a shot into the far left corner … Marino’s goal had a similar progression, with Tulisiak moving the ball to Warner, who used some sharp cuts and her speed to burst into the right side of the box … Warner then dropped the ball back to the top of the box and Marino lifted a shot into the upper left corner of the net, for her first career point (in her sixth career game played).

SETON HALL (6-5-0)  0   0   -   0NOTRE DAME (10-0-0) 4   2   -   6ND 1. Anne Makinen 8 (-) 9:24,  ND 2. Amy Warner 7 (-) 10:17,  ND 3. MeotisErikson (Randi Scheller) 35:53,  ND 4. Scheller 2 (Erikson) 41:26,  ND 5.Kelly Tulisiak 5 (Ali Lovelace, Megan Rogers), ND 6. Caroline Marino 1(Warner, Tulisiak) 68:57.SHOTS: SHU 2, ND 34.    CORNER KICKS: SHU 1, ND 8.SAVES: SHU 11 (Heather Hinton), ND 1 (Elizabeth Wagner 1, Sani Post 0).FOULS: SHU 5, ND 16.    OFFSIDES: SHU 0, ND 2.

SHU GAME NOTES: ND’s six goals vs. the Pirates equal a season-high (also vs. Detroit and Santa Clara) while the four goals in the first half equal the most in a half by the Irish this season (also vs. SCU) … sophomore G Sani Post played the entire second half vs. SHU and has logged 119 minutes this season without facing a shot on goal.

RUTGERS RECAP (2-0, Oct. 1) – A two-goal flurry and a strong defensive stand again were the names of the game … ND erupted for 20 shots in the second half en route to a 32-0 shot margin, plus an 8-1 edge in corner kicks … the Irish failed to cash in on 12 first-half shots before scoring twice in a four-minute span, early in the second half … a hand-ball violation led to the first goal, with Anne Makinen striking a high PK shot to the left side, off the hand of leaping G Angel Hadaway … just minutes after the PK, sophomore D Vanessa Pruzinski set the play in motion down the left flank before freshman M Randi Scheller threaded a pass into the left side of the box … freshman F Amanda Guertin had a tough angle but placed a low crossing shot inside the right post for the 2-0 cushion.

WALDRUM ON THE SHU AND RU GAMES: “Compared to last weekend, I was pretty pleased with this weekend. Our ball movement was better and teams are just going to be that way. We’ve just got to learn to have some patience with it. We played a lot of different players. It’s a good stretch to get them some time. Physically, we needed to rest some people. … Nancy (Mikacenic) is coming around to where she was last year and that adds depth to the back. Monica Gonzalez also had a great weekend. So now we’re about six players deep in the back. … Randi Scheller had a very good weekend. She’s starting to do the things offensively that we knew she could do. She was so worried early on about the x’s and o’s. We told her ‘Just go play your game.’ We want to improve her a little defensively, but she’s going to be a great player for us. … Amanda (Guertin) is the one player from that angle who can hit a ball left or right-footed and score that kind of goal for us. … Things are really coming around for us and I’m really pleased with the weekend. … We really don’t talk about (the No .1 ranking). We’ve approached it more from the perspective of what we need to do in regards to positioning within the BIG EAST rankings and assuring a top-four seed for the NCAA Tournament.”

RUTGERS (5-4-2)         0   0   -   0#1 NOTRE DAME (11-0-0)  0   2   -   2ND 1. Anne Makinen 9 (penalty kick) 52:56,ND 2. Amanda Guertin 5 (Randi Scheller, Vanessa Pruzinsky) 56:39SHOTS: RU 0, ND 32. CORNER KICKS: RU 1, ND 8.SAVES: RU 15 (Angel Hadaway), ND 0 (Elizabeth Wagner, Lauren Kent).FOULS: RU 11, ND 19.    OFFSIDES: RU 0, ND 4.

RUGGED STRETCH: The Sept. 17 game at Portland completed a challenging stretch in which the Irish posted three consecutive wins over ranked opponents (then-#2 Santa Clara, then-#10 Stanford and #15 Washington), followed by the win over a Portland team that entered the NSCAA poll the next week at #14 … the last time the Irish played three straight NSCAA ranked opponents was during Notre Dame’s 1995 NCAA championship run . early in that `95 season, ND posted successive wins over #13 Wisconsin, #19 Michigan State and #3 Stanford … later in `95, a rugged four-game stretch in the regular season yielded a 5-4 loss to #5 UConn, a 1-0 win over #6 SCU, a 2-2 tie with #11 Duke and a 2-0 loss to top-ranked North Carolina.

ERIKSON OFFENSIVE MVP AT PORTLAND INVITATIONAL: Notre Dame senior forward Meotis Erikson (Kennewick, Wash.) was named the offensive MVP of the Portland adidas Invitational, after scoring the game-winning goals versus Washington (5-0) and Portland (1-0) … both of Erikson’s goals showcased strong individual efforts that included tricky turns to shake her defender followed by well-placed shots … her 50th career goal was a huge one, in the win at Portland on a hot day in front of large, hostile crowd (her goal in the eighth minute helped subdue the rowdy fans) … in the first game, Washington had two strong scoring chances and ND was off to a sluggish start before Erikson’s goal sparked the Irish to three goals in a five-minute stretch.

GROWING RIVALRY: Notre Dame now holds a 6-2-0 lead in the Portland series, with all eight contests decided by one goal and four coming in NCAA tournament play (the home team has yet to win in the series) … the Pilots have won nearly 88 percent of their all-time home games at Merlo Field (91-13-2, since 1990), with the Irish handing UP four of those losses … no other team has beaten the Pilots more than twice at Merlo Field.

BRONCO BUSTERS: Notre Dame’s 6-1 win over Santa Clara held several levels of significance, as it marked: SCU’s first consecutive losses since a three-game losing streak in September of 1994 (vs. LMU, Stanford and UNC), the first time SCU was outshot (23-10) in 19 games, and the most goals by an SCU opponent in 20 seasons-dating back to an 8-0 loss to UC Davis in 1980 (the last team to reach five goals vs. SCU was UNC, in 1991) … ND also became the first team to post more than 20 shots versus Santa Clara since Washington did it in 1994 (23-18, in a game that finished 2-2).

SANTA CLARA’S JERRY SMITH ON ANNE MAKINEN: “Anne Makinen is the best player in college soccer. She is a great international player, let alone a great college player. The international game is a much tougher game to be good than the college level. … I have such a high opinion of (Anne) that she would have to play just awesome for me to be kind of surprised. We talked about it in our team meeting. We just don’t have enough players that can kind of corral her.”

FILLING THE VOID: Notre Dame entered the season searching for answers at several positions, after losing five starters from the 1999 NCAA runner-up squad … the early-season starting lineup in 2000 featured sophomore Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) at the central defender spot formerly occupied by All-American Jen Grubb, with senior Kerri Bakker (Washington, N.J.) also starting four games this season at central defender … Pruzinsky’s starting spot on the left flank has been filled in six games by versatile senior Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas), who previously has played up front, while sophomore Ali Lovelace (Dallas, Ga.) and a pair of freshmen-Amy Warner (Albuquerque, N.M.) and Amanda Guertin (Albuquerque, N.M.)-have shared time starting at the two open forward spots … other newcomers to the starting lineup have included junior defender Lindsey Jones (South Bend, Ind.)-who started 17 games as a freshman midfielder and has taken the spot held by 2000 grad. Kara Brown-and junior midfielder Mia Sarkesian (Canton, Mich.), who shared starting time with current sophomore Nancy Mikacenic (Seattle, Wash.) in the ’99 season … junior goalkeeper Elizabeth Wagner (Spring, Texas) has started all 11 games this season but many of those games have been fairly uneventful for her (she has 19 saves for the season, or 2.1 per game).

VIVA BRAZIL!: Notre Dame returned on Aug. 21 from a 10-day tour of Brazil, with the trip including five games versus local professional clubs … the tour provided the Irish with a chance to evaluate different options as they pertain to replacing five starters lost to graduation … senior D and team captain Kerri Bakker provided daily diary entries from the Brazil trip and they are posted on the Notre Dame website at

RETURNING STARTERS: Notre Dame returned six starters from the 1999 team that posted a 21-4-1 record and advanced to the NCAA title game … the returning starters include senior F Meotis Erikson, All-America senior M Anne Makinen, senior D and second-year team captain Kelly Lindsey, sophomore D Vanessa Pruzinsky and sophomore midfielders Ashley Dryer (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Nancy Mikacenic.

LOTS OF MIDFIELD OPTIONS: Notre Dame has plenty of experience in the midfield, led by three-time All-American and leading national player-of-the year candidate Anne Makinen … top options on the outside include junior Mia Sarkesian and sophomores Ashley Dryer and Nancy Mikacenic (each of those three were starters at some point in the ’99 season) while promising freshman Randi Scheller should be in the mix as well.

CORNER KICKER: Despite being one of Notre Dame’s most dangerous players in the penalty box area, senior M Anne Makinen has taken many of ND’s corner kicks this season and is considered the team’s top option for that role due to her strong leg and pinpoint accuracy … senior F Meotis Erikson and freshman F Amanda Guertin also have been used recently on CKs (Erikson set up an Irish goal versus PC with one of those set plays, as did Makinen in the Detroit game).

NEW FACES IN THE NETS: Three-year starter and Notre Dame career goals-against average leader (0.63) LaKeysia Beene has moved on to the coaching ranks as a current Irish graduate assistant, leaving the goalkeeping position open to three capable players … junior Liz Wagner made her first career start in the Detroit game (she has started all 11 games this season) while sophomore Sani Post has played in the second half vs. Providence, Santa Clara and Seton Hall … freshman Lauren Kent (Laguna Nigel, Calif.) showed surprising development during the Brazil trip and could see some game time in the earlygoing (she played the final 17 minutes of the Detroit game while also seeing time late in the Rutgers game).